This week National Whistleblower Center Executive Director Stephen Kohn is participating in an anti-corruption conference in Belgrade, Serbia as a featured panelist. The conference entitled “For Every Truth There Is a Source: Protecting Whistleblowers and Journalistic Sources,” is hosted by the Serbian whistleblower advocacy group Pištaljkaa (The Whistle), and sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and Information and runs from today through Friday.
Kohn is to participate in two panels: “Journalism and whistleblowing: Threats and opportunities,” and “Whistleblowing, Justice, and Journalism: The Way Forward.” He will discuss the importance of whistleblowers in the global fight against corruption and he will also explain how the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, now permits non-U.S. citizens to obtain large monetary rewards for blowing the whistle. The violations may occur anywhere in the world, and the whistleblower disclosures may be made confidentially.
Kohn first visted Serbia in July 2011, where he gave presentations to the Association of Serbian Judges, the President of the Anti-Corruption Council and several other government and NGO officials shortly before Serbia passed its first whistleblower protection laws. These laws have already protected numerous Serbian whistleblowers.
“The U.S. reward programs are filling the void caused by a lack of international whistleblower protections. Until other countries, like Serbia, enact effective laws, whistleblowers around the world will continue to face harsh retaliation,” said Kohn.